(NEW YORK) — Not many people in the world can tackle the giant waves off the coast of California on a surfboard, but how about tackling them on a set of water skis?
That’s exactly what pro surfer, skier and snowboarder Chuck Patterson accomplished in what is believed to be a first: water skiing freestyle.
“I had a lot of faith in it,” Patterson told ABC’s Good Morning America on Friday of his success in navigating waves as high as 30 feet off the coast of Santa Barbara, Calif., while just on skis.
“Growing up skiing when I was younger and then doing a lot of big-wave surfing here in Maui, combining the two, I definitely had a vision in my head that it would work,” he said via Skype from Maui.
Patterson, who lives in California, used specially fitted skis to navigate the high waves and ski poles to help maintain his balance. A Jet-Ski pulled him out to the peak of the wave before letting him go to “surf” the wave himself.
“Testing all the equipment beforehand was kind of a buildup to getting there but once I actually got out in it, that was the real test,” he said.
Patterson’s moves were captured by photographer Greg Huglin, who told the U.K.’s Daily Mail that what Patterson accomplished was like “skiing in an avalanche.”
“What Chuck is doing is unique and I don’t know of anyone anywhere who can do this on waves,” Huglin told the paper. “I think he has invented a new sport and I believe he will ride larger and larger waves on his skis and perfect the technique.”
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